The European Union is heading for "world class" supercomputers – Politics

The European Union is heading for "world class" supercomputers - Politics

The European Union wants to invest, with the help of Member States and the private sector, 1 billion euros by 2020 to develop and acquire world-class supercomputers.
        In the high-performance computing sector, competition is dominated by two states: China and the US. The rankings made by the Top 500 site, which twice a year updates the list of the top 500 supercomputers in the world, show indeed a supremacy of these two countries. Thus, in November, there were 202 Chinese machines and 143 American computers.
It is a machine designed to perform computing operations in large numbers and at full speed. It uses tens of thousands of processors, even millions for the most powerful of them, in order to achieve extremely high performances. Faced with this technological duopoly, other nations have some difficulties in finding a place. In the standings, however, there is Japan, which is far behind in third place, and a number of European countries, which are even further. The top trio consists of the United Kingdom, Germany and France. But if we think at the European level, the situation is not quite the same.
Adding the supercomputers of all the countries of the Old Continent (in addition to the three countries listed above), Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Ireland, Poland, Finland , Austria, Spain and the Czech Republic), we arrive at a total of 84 places occupied by Europeans. Admittedly, we stay far from the US and China, but it is not insignificant anymore.

@ Moedas "No organization, no company, no university could invest alone in supercomputers (…) This project brings real added value to taxpayers" #HPC #EuroHPC / iyekneNAyy
– European Commission (@UEfrance) January 11, 2018

. @ GabrielMariya "Supercomputers can help us develop personalized medicine, save energy and fight climate change more effectively" >> #HPC / QQx6xLV1gH
– European Commission (@UEfrance) January 11, 2018

It is in this context that the European Commission announces Thursday, January 11 "its intention to invest […] in the establishment of a European supercomputer infrastructure world-wide". There is talk of an investment of EUR 486 million at Community level, which will be complemented by an equivalent financial effort from the Member and Associated States.
"Overall, about 1 billion euros of public funds would be invested by 2020," says Brussels. These funds will pass through an ad hoc legal and financial structure, called EuroHPC (for High Performance Computing), which will be responsible for "acquiring, setting up and deploying throughout Europe" the said infrastructure.

The EuroHPC company has received support from a number of member countries since 23 March 2017: France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal Spain, Belgium, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Greece and Croatia. There is also a partner state, Switzerland. Naturally, the door remains open to other states that would like to join the initiative.
It is added that the private sector can also join the program and make "in-kind contributions", without these being specified. In addition, EuroPHC "will also support a program of research and innovation to develop the technologies and machines (hardware) as well as the applications (software) that would work on these supercomputers."

I see #EuroHPC as a perfect example of interaction between industry, universities & research centers working on hardware & software to equip the #HPC. Science is making a comeback as a driver of innovation and innovation because it's a world leader in science
– Carlos Moedas (@Moedas) January 11, 2018

In this case, the European ambition, which is not new in this field, is "to acquire pre-exascale performance systems (1017 or one hundred million billion calculations per second) and to support the development of exascale performance systems (1018 or 1 billion billion calculations per second) based on Union technology, by 2022-2023 ". At least four systems are mentioned:
First, two pre-exascale supercomputers capable of appearing in the top of the basket and standing up to the best machines internationally. Then, "at least" two intensive compute machines located in the "mid-range", that is to say that are capable of performing about 1016 calculations per second. These machines will be accessible to "a wide range of public and private users from 2020".




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